Every month, CaringBridge likes to recognize a caregiver, volunteer or family that exemplifies our mission to amplify love, hope and compassion in the world.
On April 11 2013, everything changed for Jeanine N. and her daughter, Jaidan, who appeared to be simply under the weather and in need of some fluids. After three days of rest and recovery with no improvement and a visible decline in responsiveness, Jeanine decided to seek medical attention for Jaidan.
A Sudden Change
Jaidan’s health rapidly deteriorated minutes after getting to the emergency room. With a 107 degree temperature, racing heart rate and complete non-responsiveness, it was quickly determined that Jaidan would have to be flown to Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. for her best chance of survival.
Jeanine describes what happened once in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) “[Jaidan] was sedated, placed on a ventilator, had a central line inserted, a cooling blanket placed on her back and stomach, and a cocktail of antibiotics were started…in hopes of finding out what had caused her to reach this point.”
Jaidan had been extremely septic when she arrived in the emergency room with no immediate causes found. With the multiplicity of symptoms and the damage they caused, Jaidan sustained cerebral atrophy which meant she would have to, as Jeanine states, “relearn basic skills of everyday life.”
After a repeat crash with the same symptoms after day 10, being brought out of sedation on day 15 and a lack of diagnosis, Jaidan finally went home 112 days after it all began. Jeanine discusses life after April 11, “Rehabilitation for Jaidan to regain her strength, learn how to complete basic everyday activities again, focusing on 2+ step directions, and most importantly accept what has happened to her and the time from her life that she has lost to the illness and hospitalization are things that happen every day.”
A lot has happened but Jeanine always tries to remember that “…the most important thing is Jaidan has kept the same kind, loving wonderful personality she always had…everything else we can deal with, but I am not sure what I would have done had I lost ‘that’ girl. Our lives have changed but we have learned what is truly important and what to just brush off as insignificant.”
Despite everything that has happened in the past few months, Jaidan and Jeanine find time to give back to their community and try to inspire others. Jeanine connects with individuals who might be going through similar situations and has provided posts for the Amplifier Hub blog covering topics relating to providing alternative crafts and activities for kids with disabilities.
How do you help?
Jeanine and Jaidan inspire others within their community to always think about the positives in each situation. How do you get in involved within your community to help out those who need it most? Do you volunteer at a local shelter or spend your time collecting food for the food shelf? We’d love to hear about your inspiring actions within your community. Share them in our comments section below. Also, check out the Amplifier Hub for other ways to volunteer.